Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reviving Shirts IV: Sewn-away Collars

Turn Us Under, Not Asunder

For whatever reason, after about eight years, these Thomas Pink butcher-check shirts decided to simultaneously give up the ghost on their collars.  Before this one died outright, I took it to see about repair.  The seamstress recommended a full change of collar, but I am already getting too far in-country behind the lines of contrast-collars so I resisted. She said it again.  I resisted again.  After some mutually unblinking show-down style staring (it's an odd relationship), I asked if she could simply cut the corners away, going from a stronger Windsor 90 degree spread to a literal cut-away.  After a close look, she said that the fabric would not hold well. They were nearly disintegrated along the forward edge.  Her solution was so simple I was ashamed to had never thought of it.  She folded the points under, and marked them.

BEFORE:  Fletched and Frayed

Damaged area circled

AFTER: Sewn-under and held fast

With the collar turned under, the cut trended stylish... especially with a tie.

BEFORE:  With a tie

AFTER: With a tie
Since basic geometry ensures that the middle of the collar (at the top button) remains mostly unchanged, there is still some damage left.  This by no means returned the shirt to new, but it did give me several more years in it.

Under the hood

As you can see, there was no magic to it.  The points were simply folded under, sewn (double seamed) and then pressed.  The slots for the collar stays were obviously and necessarily neutralized, but with the double-thickness of the added layer, the collar does not budge.  Below, the BEFORE and AFTER.


This is not as good as replacing the collars, but for about $10, it certainly will be a passable jury rig.  It looked decent with an Orvis (packable travel) blazer from a thrift-store (new with tags... $4) and another warm sweater vest.  The climate of indoor slate courts and stands are usually like a garage... an only slightly less-uncomfortable version of the outdoor temperature.  Traditional spectator attire includes sweaters with stripes around the neck, cuffs, and waist. For the more archaic racquet sports, when the courts are really cold, observers are encouraged to keep warm with lap-robes, hats, gloves, alcohol, wagering, and cheering.

Reviving Shirts
Part I
Part II
Part III


  1. Excellent solution ol' chum. But, 8 years?! Great Scott! That's a lot longer than mine last. Nice reference to Rackets. Wish it were more widespread.

  2. Wow, what a great way to revive a frayed collar shirt...that one´s gonna be filed in my "posts to learn from" section!


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